Holy See Reminds Drivers of Their Grave Responsibility

Stresses Importance of Highway Pastoral Care

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 4, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See launched a plan that stresses the importance of pastoral care for highway workers and travelers, reminding drivers of their responsibility for their own lives and those of others.

This was one of the conclusions of the inaugural European Meeting of National Directors for Highway Pastoral Care, held in Rome on Monday and today, at the initiative of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers.

Archbishop Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the pontifical council, presided over the meeting.

The event highlighted that “the pastoral care of millions of people, whose profession is linked to the highway, or of simple travelers, cannot be neglected by the Church,” a press statement reported.

“This apostolate consists, to a great extent, in a continuous and serious appeal to drivers’ responsibility, promoting evangelical values that have as their foundation the commandment of love and of respect for one’s own life and that of others,” the statement clarified.

For this reason, the pontifical council proposed that initiatives be undertaken “to offer a contribution to education in traffic from childhood.”

“The qualities proper to a driver are courtesy, correction and prudence to be able to surmount eventual unexpected incidents, caused perhaps by other highway users (because of exhaustion, alcohol abuse, medicines, lack of knowledge of traffic rules, etc.), as well as by atmospheric conditions, the state of the car, or the highway network,” the statement explained.

The meeting served to emphasize the need that pastoral care “be more visible in churches and chapels along the highways,” offering in particular “consolation and spiritual assistance in the numerous cases of accidents, which affect a large portion of society, causing death or disability.”

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